Update: Forever 21 Denies Using Controversial On-Call Scheduling

In an email to Footwear News on Thursday, fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 denied that it uses the controversial on-call scheduling practice that has come under criticism from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other state AGs.

Contrary to published reports, Forever 21 does not permit on-call scheduling nor do we have a company policy around doing so,” Forever 21 said in the emailed statement.

Forever 21 was one of 15 retailers to receive a letter from Schneiderman this week requesting information about their use of on-call shifts.

According to Schneiderman, many employees assigned to on-call shifts must call their employer, typically an hour or two before a scheduled shift, to find out if they will be assigned to work that day. If a worker then learns his or her services are not required, he or she receives no compensation, “even though the employee was required to be available for work, to forgo other job and educational opportunities.”

“On-call shifts are unfair to workers who must keep the day free, arrange for child care, and give up the chance to get another job or attend a class — often all for nothing,” said Schneiderman in a statement Wednesday. “On-call shifts are not a business necessity, as we see from the many retailers that no longer use this unjust method of scheduling work hours.”

According to the attorney general’s office, New York State has a “call in pay” regulation that says “an employee who by request or permission of the employer reports for work on any day shall be paid for at least four hours, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less, at the basic minimum hourly wage.”

Coach, PacSun, Vans and American Eagle were among the other retailer to receive a letter this week.

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